High school football’s All-American Bowl will no longer include the All-American Marching Band.
Due to a change in title sponsorship, All American Games discontinued the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band (USAAAMB).
For the previous 11 years starting in January 2008, the USAAAMB consisted of 125 select high school marching band seniors who took an all-expenses-paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, to perform in high school football’s All-American Bowl, which began in the year 2000.
This year’s event on Jan. 5, 2019, did not include the marching group.
The U.S. Army previously had title sponsorship of the All-American Bowl, but American Family Insurance recently took over the sponsorship. All American Games had to “reassess the marching band program and its viability” because of the title sponsorship change, stated Doug Berman, the chairman and CEO of All American Games in an emailed statement to the All-American Marching Band community.
“The marching band program has aligned closely with All American Games’ mission of helping kids succeed, and one that we’d like to continue in the future,” Berman stated. “However, at this time, after careful consideration, we have made the decision to suspend the All-American Marching Band program for the foreseeable future.”
Berman added that he hopes the All-American Marching Band can one day rejoin the All-American Bowl.
The news disappointed some past performers as well as students who were hopeful to join the band. Abby Camp auditioned for the 2019 All-American Marching Band class last spring and was later told that All American Games discontinued the program.
“It was heartbreaking for them to take away our performance and to have no one fund the marching [band],” says Camp, who attended Dawson-Bryant High School in Coal Grove, Ohio. “I just hate to see the community not acknowledge the bands like they do the sports. Both groups work tireless hours, but yet not everyone gets to have the ‘big day’ or ‘big performance.’”
All American Games did not return Halftime Magazine’s request for comment.